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Winchell: Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity Paperback – September 26, 1995
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On our cultural radar screen, politics and celebrity are quickly merging (have merged?) into a single blip. Although this is the definitively postmodern development, it's not without precedent, and perhaps the granddaddy of it all is the subject of this engrossing book: Walter Winchell. By catching the rising star of radio Winchell was able to transform himself from poor boy to media superstar--and he was just as big as the politicians and movie stars he covered. When Winchell broadcast an unbecoming story about an actress, her career was in trouble; when he championed the cause of Joe McCarthy, the country was in trouble.
From Publishers Weekly
Inventor of the modern gossip column in the 1920s, pioneer in the mass culture of celebrity and a political opportunist who turned from populism to Red-baiting with the prevailing winds, Walter Winchell (1897-1972) changed 20th-century journalism and society, asserts Gabler (An Empire of Their Own). His thorough biography stylishly tells of Winchell's tortured personal life and high-flying career. Born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in Harlem, Winchell drew on deprivation for his drive, which took him from vaudeville to writing Broadway gossip with a jaunty slang that matched "the syncopated rhythm of the twenties." By the 1930s, he had become a "journalistic entertainer" on radio, on the stage and in movies; he helped establish the new, glamorous cafe society. In 1934, he injected himself into the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was eventually convicted of the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby; he became a prominent New Deal supporter and a mouthpiece for the Roosevelt administration. After the war, however, Winchell foundered in both family and professional life; he fought his enemies in public feuds, and proved too hot for the "cool" medium of television. His radio broadcasts ended in 1959; his column, after 38 years of association with Hearst, in 1967. Winchell's legacy, Gabler notes, is today's mania for gossip. Photos. Film option to Martin Scorsese.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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MAYBE IT WAS JUST THE AGE OF THE EDITION...I FEEL I WAS RIPPED OFF..